French business school HEC Paris has for the first time topped the FT’s annual executive education rankings for open-ended programs and customized courses for corporate clients. The school’s double success comes as many of the world’s leading academic institutions report an increase in demand for non-degree courses as the Covid-19 pandemic subsides.
This growth reflects senior executives’ short-term appetite for meeting in-person and off-site after months of working remotely. But it also reveals a long-term desire to learn new skills, such as digital transformation, and to maintain motivation in a time of high hiring and turnover.
“Demand is accelerating significantly,” says Anne-Valérie Corboz, associate dean of continuing education at HEC Paris. “There have been many requests after a two-year shutdown, especially from management teams who have not had the opportunity to meet and reconnect around new approaches to work, organizational design and adaptation to Generation Z.”
This trend is reflected in the FT’s parallel survey of learning managers who buy courses for their organizations around the world. It shows that a majority expect budgets to increase this year, with a focus on courses offering insight into leadership, diversity and inclusion, and digital skills.
Financial Times Executive Education Ranking 2022
Competition from “corporate universities” and in-house consulting firms is intensifying, as is online learning from organizations such as LinkedIn. A growing number of venture capital-backed digital training start-ups are also disrupting the industry, with new technologies and flexibility in their offerings.
But “the most interesting question at the moment,” says Tom O’Toole, associate dean for executive education at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Illinois, “is to what extent these new entrants are they durable? There is huge marketing competition right now and their returns are under pressure. We have the brand reputation of our faculty, the university, relationships that have lasted for years, and high credibility.
Corboz adds, “Business schools are in a unique position to combine research with real-world experience.”
Of the 65 business schools ranked this year for general and advanced management programs, the top 19 elite providers include four with their main campuses in France, three in Spain, and two in the UK, US and Spain. Swiss.
Of the 70 schools that feature in the ranking of tailor-made programs adapted to the needs of organizations, HEC Paris is one of the 18 schools in the first rank. This elite group includes five French schools and four based in the United States, as well as establishments in Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Brazil, Mexico and China.
The combined ranking of schools evaluated for open and personalized programs is also led by HEC Paris, followed by four other European institutions: the Spanish school Iese, IMD in Switzerland, Esade, also in Spain, and London Business. school in the UK.
This executive education ranking is the first published by the FT since May 2020. The pandemic has caused severe disruption as business schools have been forced to adapt to short-term online learning and many businesses canceled the training.
Among open programs, HEC Paris comes out on top with an overall satisfaction score of 9.72 out of 10, ranking first among participants for teaching methods, quality of classmates, follow-up, news skills and learning. IMD was judged first for goals achieved; Western University’s Ivey Business School, which offers open programs in Canada and Hong Kong, was ranked best for readiness and faculty; and UCLA Anderson came in first for course design.
In the personalized ranking, HEC Paris, which offered programs on its campuses near Paris and in Qatar, was at the top for preparation, teaching methods and materials, faculty, new skills acquired, follow-up, objectives achieved and value for money. Duke Corporate Education was deemed best for program design; Iese for faculty diversity, international clients, and growth; and SDA Bocconi for future use.
To be eligible for the ranking, business schools must be accredited by at least one of the two major agencies, AACSB or EFMD. They must also have reported revenues of at least $1 million per year from their custom or open programs in order to participate in the corresponding ranking.
For custom programs, schools must have a minimum of 15 corporate clients who have ordered courses ending in 2021, of which at least five must return an FT feedback survey. For open programs, schools submit up to two general management courses lasting a minimum of three days and up to two advanced courses lasting five days or more. At least 20% of participants and 20 individuals must complete the survey for a school to be considered.
This year, the ranking was adapted in response to post-pandemic feedback to remove the assessment of on-site facilities. For custom programs, responses were also weighted based on respondent seniority, the size of their organizations, and the number of business schools they work with.